Council approves St. John human resources director

Published 12:08 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

Advocate asks for greater HIV support from Parish Council

LAPLACE — A familiar face is taking on a new role in St. John the Baptist Parish government.

Nykya Perrilloux Freemont, who has worked in finance and human resources for the parish since September, is stepping into the role of human resources director. Freemont’s promotion is contingent upon successful completion of all pre-employment requirements, Parish President Natalie Robottom said during a parish council meeting Tuesday night.

Nykya Perrilloux Freemont

Nykya Perrilloux Freemont

“I want to thank you and (Robottom) for this opportunity,” Freemont, a native of St. John Parish, told council members Tuesday night. “I am looking forward to working with the president and Council to move the parish forward.”

Freemont holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern University, bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. The LaPlace resident, who will earn an annual salary of $72,000, has served in various management positions, including Woodland Academy in College Park, Ga.; Allied Waste and Weatherford International and U.S. Physical Therapy, Inc., in Houston and MBS Management Services in Metairie.

Although the hiring was unanimously approved, Council-woman Cheryl Millet questioned Freemont about her background, asking if she had civil service and human resources experience. Freemont said her experience has been focused more on management.

In other council news, Tanza Sterling of the Right Choice Project in LaPlace sought support and financial assistance in helping increase the awareness of HIV in the parish. Sterling revealed the number of new HIV cases in St. John was 38 at the end of 2014, including 27 men. In neighboring St. James Parish, new HIV cases totaled 18, 10 being males, and in St. Charles the total was 24, including 18 men.

She cited statistics showing Baton Rouge ranking third in the country with the most number of AIDS cases in the United States and New Orleans fifth.

“We are right in between (the two cities),” Sterling said, adding she believes education of AIDS awareness in the parish is poor.

She also said she was disappointed in what she perceives as a lack of support from the Council and administration.

She said her organization has received no financial backing from the parish and has requested meetings with Council members that have gone unheeded.

“Hopefully the process will take place in a couple of weeks,” Sterling said. “My purpose (at the meeting) is to get backing from the parish.”

Councilman Lucien Gauff reminded Sterling of an earlier meeting among the two and said he was awaiting information he had requested. Several Parish Council members, including Vice-Chairman Marvin Perrilloux, requested they be part of a scheduled meeting with Sterling.

— By Richard Meek